Perchance to Dream

I had two odd dreams within the past few nights. That is not to say that most of my dreams are not odd, but these seemed especially so.

In the first one, two people I know from the Dallas area (one of whom I know only electronically via Facebook and email) were at a carnival, acting as…for want of a better term…carnies.  They were selling chances to appear in a Deep Elum Brewing commercial with a Rhode Island Red rooster.  One of them, the one I’ve never met face-to-face, waved the crowds, shouting, “The commercial is gluten-free, but the beer’s not!” I was just a bystander; I played no part in the dream other than as an observer.

The other dream involved my pottery class…sort of.  The students, including me, were preparing for the class. One of the students (who is not a student…I’ve never seen this person before) put a glass of hot tea down in front of me and I mistakenly picked it up, twice, to drink from it.  Just as I was apologizing to her for the second mistake, the teacher came in and held up a flash card printed with a symbol I thought I should have known, but did not.  She asked me what it meant, then without giving me an opportunity even to say “I don’t remember,” turned to the rest of the class and said, “who DOES know what this means, since John doesn’t?” Next, in a rapid-fire manner, she started giving out individual homework assignments.  The only one I remember was the one she assigned to me: “Your assignment, John, is to convince Frank to let you borrow a bed.  As long as you get him to lend you the bed before the end of the semester, you will have succeeded.”  I have a vague recollection that my dream then shifted into a situation in which I was driving home in the dark, making a left turn from Campbell Road onto Hillcrest Road in Dallas, near where I used to live, but that may have been a different dream.

I am not inclined to assign meanings to dreams, but I think the subject of one’s dreams must have a derivative relationship with one’s waking world. How that relationship could work in these two dreams is beyond me, though.  I’ve never had the opportunity to converse with a psychologist who attempts to understand the process of dreaming, but I think it could be an interesting conversation.  The pop psychology of dreams holds no interest for me, but real, rigorous scientific exploration of the topic does.

I found an interesting reference to an article from the Journal of Consciousness Studies, entitled “Consciousness, Dreams, and Inference: The Cartesian Theatre Revisited,” by J. Allan Hobson and Karl Friston. Having read just a smidgen about Cartesian Theatre several years ago, I thought this might be an interesting read, until I discovered that I would have to fork over $29.54 to ingentaconnect to buy a copy of the article. I’m interested, but not THAT interested. But don’t hesitate to send me your copy!

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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One Response to Perchance to Dream

  1. There is no one in the class by the name of Frank, by the way; I am the only male, in fact. I am not sure I even know anyone named Frank.

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